Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Belated Moon Festival!

I know what you're thinking, what is with all the food posts? Where are the running posts? Sorry folks, I was just lazy and found it easier to cook, take pics, and share that instead of posting about my ongoing training torture. And the truth is that there wasn't much running to write about in September, since I took time off to entertain my visiting parents as well as nurse myself back to health from a cold. So did that month off put a chink in my training schedule? Indeed it did!

You'd think that I've learned by now how to take a break, i.e., maintain a base level of fitness with regular 2-mile runs. But, I've always been one to learn things the hard way. So, yet again I've had to build up my fitness level from scratch with just a month and a half left before the big race (Nike Women's Half Marathon 2009). Despite the setback, I've been determined to build myself back up the right way: slow and steady. I decided to restart my training with the Palo Alto Moonlight 5K Run.

There are races that I run as an annual tradition: SF Nike Women's Half Marathon; there are races that I run to assess my fitness level: SF 5K race; and there are races that I run for the pure enjoyment of it: Palo Alto Moonlight 5K Run. The moonlight run winds through the Palo Alto marshes at 8:30 pm, so your path is only lit by the moonlight. Thus, the need for the runners to have some sort of flashlight on their bodies. It's such a unique experience, and the best part for me is the group of friends, including Raquel, who I'm always running with for this event.

For the most part, my friends will run at their own pace so I don't have to worry about keeping up or slowing down. But, just knowing that they are also present on the course makes me smile. This year's run actually wasn't as bad/painful as I originally thought it would be with the shape I was in. In fact, I improved my previous time by three minutes! So on that note, I'd like to say that it was a great jump-start back to my training.

Race Highlights
  • I didn't need to wear a headlamp, since Raquel decided to run at my pace and literally light my way. Isn't that what a girlfriend is for?
  • Watching the unique ways that every runner decided to light their path. My personal favorite: the runner who wrapped himself in Christmas lights.
  • Finding a new and fun way to celebrate Chinese Moon Festival other than eating moon cakes, which are a very calorie-dense dessert.

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